What factors put you in better stead for agents to sign you up? My answer is, it is entirely dependent on the market demand at the time.
Agents, just like you and me have personal tastes and preferences. Personal taste means the type of person they will work with. No agent wants a Prima Donna, especially if you are a novice writer with no publishing history. So once you have established that you do need an agent (your project may not need the services of an agent or you can self-publish) you research the market for an Agent best qualified to represent you, and who specializes in your writing field.
Research what genres they handle, which publishers they deal with, if they have a successful stable of clients and most importantly, do they take on novice writers? The latter is very important to save time and annoyance on your part.
That said some agents would go outside their genre preference if a manuscript has marketing and saleable potential as many agents work with sub-agents. Thus, if there is a demand for a certain type of subject matter, say self-help for instance, and they are taking on new clients, if your project is interesting and prepared properly, they may consider representing your work.
Here are a few useful websites:
Agent Query – www.agentquery.com
Preditors and Editors – www.anotherrealm.com
The Association of Authors Representatives (AAR) www.aar-online.org
© 2009 Cherry-Ann Carew
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